Saturday, 21 July, 2018

South Africa Lay Winnie Mandela To Rest

Thousands gathered inside the Orlando Stadium for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral on 14 April 2018 Culture shock for Brazilian photographer attending Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial
Gerardo Duncan | 15 April, 2018, 01:19

Crowds clad in the yellow and green of the ANC were joined by members of the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters party.

He also thanked everyone who attended the service in Orlando Stadium, specifically the community of Soweto, which Madikizela-Mandela was a part of.

- President Cyril RamaphosaShe felt compelled to organise, to mobilise, to lead when those who led our people had been sent across the bay to the Island, whilst others were forced to flee beyond our borders or were martyred by a state that knew no mercy.

"'Mama Winnie, ' as she was affectionately known, was a towering figure in the struggle against apartheid".

During his fiery address, Malema questioned several aspects of the ANC government.

Malema said the widows of Marikana were still in tears. What do I tell them?

Although he did not name Ramaphosa, the EFF has previously expressed that he had a role in the killing of 34 miners by South African police during a protracted strike for better wages in 2012.

Ramaphosa called for the nation to commit themselves to the poor.

"You were never a member of the UDF, you were a member of the ANC".

The funeral closes the final chapter in the history of a woman who was exalted for her fearless defiance of apartheid rule but also implicated in violence and corruption in later life. While the pain she endured during the years could not be forgiven, she did not allow it to break her spirit and humanity. "I'm sorry that we delayed this much, to this point", he said in an eulogy. Mama, you have run your race.

Her reputation was tainted by accusations of human rights violations that seemed sometimes at odds with Mandela's fight for inclusiveness.

She said those who vilified her mother should not for one moment think that the family would forget that.

Speaking about one of the darkest clouds which hung over Madikizela-Mandela's legacy, Malema said that the mother of the late Stompie Seipei, whose death Mam' Winnie was accused of orchestrating, was at the stadium to pay her last respects.

"They sought to denigrate her with bitter and twisted lies, but still she rose".

He conceded that the ANC hasn't been there for her during the tumultuous times. Too often, we were not there for her. The day after she died, the ANC's top six leaders went to her home to pay our condolences to her family.

Mandela said her mother dared to take on one of the most evil regimes of the past century.

"She has been our big Mama throughout our life".

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was a social worker when she met her future husband, then a prominent anti-apartheid campaigner, in the 1950s. "As president, I will propose that we award you the highest order of our movement, you richly deserve to be awarded", Mr Ramaphosa said.

"We must continue to touch Mama's wounds, acknowledge her huge pain and torment, and pass on the stories of her suffering to future generations so that it may always be known that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a giant, a pathfinder... and forever the Mother of the Nation". But she touched our wounds all the time.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called her an "international symbol of resistance" whose extraordinary life had an impact on millions of people around the world. "We are lucky to have witnessed her greatness, courage, fearlessness and her strength".

Ramaphosa said she defied apartheid ideology and male superiority. "I know that Julius will come with me so that we can heal the wounds of those in Marikana", he said.

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